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Tyrone Claim U20 Title After Penalties

Thursday 02.05.2024
Team Talk Mag
Championship Football


Tyrone 3-10 Derry 2-13 (Tyrone won 3-1 on pens)

Tyrone are Ulster U20 champions after a penalty shoot out win over Derry in Armagh.

Penalty shoot outs are not to everyone’s approval, but the drama and tension they create are unquestionable. Tyrone’s goalkeeper had a mixed evening with his kick outs but he stepped forward to make three fantastic saves in the shoot out to deny Derry in a titanic battle. Noah Grimes converting the winning spot kick.

As expected little separated the sides throughout, with each experiencing spells of dominance, and mimicking each other whilst out of possession. Forwards found space at a premium with packed defences leading to long periods of lateral passing.

Derry started the game better and were rewarded in the 11th minute as they sliced open the Tyrone defence. Glen clubmates Danny McDermott and Johnny McGuckian combined for the latter to squeeze his shot under keeper Conor McAneny after O’Donnell had instigated the move.

Tyrone’s response was almost immediate with a surging run from wing half back Shea O’Hare saw him offload to Joey Clarke and while he was foiled by Derry keeper Callum Armstrong the rebound fell to O’Hare who finished to the net from close range.

A brace of points from Niall O’Donnell and Ronan Cassidy for their respective sides had the score 1-3 a piece with 20 minutes on the clock before scores from Shea McCann and Oisin Doherty had Derry back in front.

Tyrone hit back in the 23rd minute when O’Neill turned the ball over in midfield and he charged through the Derry rearguard before setting up Ruairi McCullagh who fired home via the underside of the bar to edge Tyrone in front. Five minutes later Tyrone spurned a great goal chance when Ronan Cassidy, blasted wide with only keeper Armstrong to beat. It was a let off for Derry and they had the final say of the half through Ronan Walls to leave it 1-6 to 2-3.

Tyrone were the better side in the second period but failed to convert their superiority on to the scoreboard. By the midpoint of the half the sides remained level but two outstanding points from Eoin McElholm in quick succession seemed to put the victors in the driving seat. Undeterred Derry replied with three scores of their own to take the lead with eight remaining, but an excellent Ruairi McCullagh point forced extra time.

Derry looked to be in control at the end of the first period of extra time when Ryan McNicholl found the net to put them four clear leaving Tyrone a mountain to climb. Derry failed to score again however and after Cormac Devlin centred the ball Ruairi McHugh fisted to the net which took Tyrone back into contention before an outrageous effort with the outside of the boot from Conor Owens sent us to penalties.

McAneny saved Derry’s first three efforts, while Conor Owens, Cormac Devlin and Noah Grimes scored for Tyrone.

Tyrone now await the winners of the Connacht final, in this year’s All Ireland semi final.

Tyrone: C McAneny, J Clarke, B Hughes, S O’Hare(1-0), M Rafferty, O Brolly (0-1), R Fox, C O’Neill (0-1), C Devlin, E McElholm (0-2), G Potter, R McCullagh (1-2,1F), R Cassidy (0-3, 1F), C Daly. Subs: F Nelis for Devlin, R McHugh (1-0) for Brolly, P McCann for Fox, N Grimes for Cassidy, C Owens (0-1) for O’Neill, F Donnelly for Rafferty

Derry: C Armstrong, F McEldowney, S McCann (0-2), R Small, C McGrogan (0-1), P McGurk, D McDermott (0-1), R Forbes, C Heron, C Spiers, R Walls (0-1), J McGuckian (1-0), N O’Donnell (0-2), C Chambers, O Doherty (0-4,3F). Subs: R McNicholl (1-0) for McCann, E Higgins for Spiers, R McGill (0-2) for Chambers, D McPeake for Walls, T Rogers for Heron, S Young for Higgins

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